London will be home to 2019 Juno Awards, officials announce

By Jennifer Bieman, The London Free Press

Monumental event, massive excitement.

After years of aspirations, plans, grit and gumption, the Juno Awards — the single-biggest celebration in Canadian music — are coming to London in 2019.

Already, the anticipation is palpable.

“An event like this is just incredible,” Chris Campbell, director of culture and entertainment tourism at Tourism London, said Monday.

“It’s going to have a huge indirect and direct impact on culture in our city.”

The best acts in Canadian music will step out in the Forest City not only for the nationally televised March 17 award show itself, but also for the week-long festivities that start March 11.

“This is the single-largest entertainment event that our community will ever have the opportunity to host. It’s history in the making,” Mayor Matt Brown said.

“We talk about the Junos, we talk about Juno week, but for London, this is going to be Juno year.”

Brown and Tourism London officials made the big announcement at a surprise news conference Monday at the London Music Hall, the culmination of a years-long pursuit of the coveted national awards show.

The news brought rousing applause and a standing ovation from the crowd, started by Tourism London general manager John Winston in the front row.

All told, the Juno Awards festivities could bring in at least

$10 million in economic spinoffs to the city, Winston said. But the potential monetary boon for the city isn’t the only thing he’s excited about.

“The relationship-building and the contacts that we’ll create in this sector will just be incalculable,” he said.

“The people who will come to the city, who have never been here before, who have never heard of it before . . . when they get here, they’ll never forgot.”

Winston knows.

London bid for the Juno Awards last fall, almost a year after the city hosted the Canadian Country Music Association Awards in September 2016 — a successful foray into the world of big-time award shows, Winston said.

“It opened up the doors,” he said.

“So many people saw what kind of a vibe there was in the city and the way the city embraced it and endorsed it.”

Allan Reid, president and chief executive of the Juno-organizing Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, was one of them.

Reid saw London in action first-hand at the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards and was very impressed.

“It was a fantastic event. The city was alive when it happened. That’s what we look for,” he said.

“We get pitched by cities all the time. We usually have multiple cities bidding at any given time, and London put together an incredible proposal.”

The 2019 Junos will be the first to be held in Southwestern Ontario.

After years of being held exclusively in Toronto, the Juno Awards began travelling across Canada in 1991.

Outside big-city Canada, the high-profile celebration was held in St. John’s in 2002 and 2010, Saskatoon in 2007 and Regina in 2013.

“We’re fighting above our weight. We’re a mid-sized city but we’re competing with the bigger cities,” Winston said.

“To be able to host the Junos is a privilege. We will do it right.”




  • Began as reader surveys in an industry magazine.
  • First ceremony was held in 1970, under a different name, before it became the Juno Awards in 1971.
  • Named for Pierre Juneau, the first head of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and a champion of Canadian content.
  • Anne Murray has won the most Junos, winning 24 awards and claiming 52 nominations.
  • Celine Dion is close behind with 20 wins and 72 nominations.
  • The Junos include more than 40 award categories, covering all genres of Canadian music in both official languages.